It’s more than just Harry, it’s an ensemble.
Amazon Studios is moving forward with an awards push for director Michael Grandage’s romantic drama “My Policeman,” despite mixed reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival, where it received an ensemble tribute. Variety has learned exclusively that Amazon will be submitting the entire cast, which includes music superstar Harry Styles and Emmy nominee Emma Corrin, all in the supporting categories for Oscar consideration.
Going between younger and older versions of the three main characters over a 40-year span, the British drama tells the story of Tom (Styles and Linus Roache), Marion (Corrin and Gina McKee) and Patrick (David Dawson and Rupert Everett) and how events from their past affect their future when reunited.
While awards strategists tend to commit “category fraud,” the act of submitting a lead performance in supporting categories for an easier pathway to a nom or win, this is not the case for “My Policeman.” Just like Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight” (2016), the film features lead characters, not lead actors.
The pathway for noms will rely on support from the international demographics of the Academy, in particular the British voting block. BAFTA recognition will be essential to keep the discussion alive.
Singers-turned-actors have had an inconsistent road to the Academy Awards. While there are success stories such as Cher (“Moonstruck”) and Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”), Academy voters sometimes tend to make actors prove themselves before recognizing them for their achievements. As Tom, a closeted gay police officer, Styles conveys the internalizing conflict effectively, and if he decides to campaign and make a play for his first Oscar nomination, it will have to begin with Amazon choosing to submit him for supporting actor attention — which is not category fraud.
Corrin is an outstanding actor, showcasing the pain and torment of a woman feeling betrayed by her lover. With another role this year in Netflix’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” this becomes Corrin’s best vehicle for recognition after breaking out with an Emmy nom for “The Crown.”
Adapted from the book by Bethan Roberts, the film is written by Ron Nyswaner, a former Oscar nominee for “Philadelphia” (1993). As one of the contenders for Amazon, alongside the international submission “Argentina, 1985” and “Nanny,” the film could find traction for production design (from “The Imitation Game” Oscar nominee Maria Djurkovic), costumes (from Emmy winner Annie Symons) and original score (from “Gravity” Oscar winner Steven Price).
“My Policeman” opens in theaters on Oct. 21 and will be released on Prime Video on Nov. 4.
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